Two years? Really to get from Cotati to Rohnert Park?
Yes, and it’s less than 2 miles.
Let’s start at the beginning July 2013. This sign explains that it’s all connected. In time or in Laguna.
When you think of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, you may think of that place between Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. But the Laguna drains 254 square miles of the Santa Rosa plain into the Russian River. It’s this ‘creek’ that is called Laguna de Santa Rosa.
We started our walk at Ladybug Park in Cotati on Liman Way in Cotati. It’s a small park with picnic tables, playground, ball park, tennis courts and an elementary school.
We’d heard there was a trail on the far side of the park. We bumbled around to find the trailhead and went south along the dry creek for a while before we turned around. Much of the trail is narrow dirt path as it heads west.
The trail curves between the creek and Loretto Ave., there are some pocket parks with drought tolerant gardens. Access to the trail could be made from the neighborhood and from a bridge at Eagle Dr and Lakewood. The creek has been restored with native plants such as oaks, snowberries, dogwood, spice bush and wild rose.
When the path curves north, we noticed a park across the creek. Turns out it is Helen Putnam Park with a ball field – but not the Helen Putnam Regional Park with the hill. (Ms. Putnam was County Supervisor and Petaluma mayor for a long time.)
So now it is November 2014. We parked on the north side of E. Cotati on Arthur St. and walked to the creek. There’s a big crossing from creek trail to creek trail. Now we saw it. Can you? By the white car zooming on E. Cotati?
A few locals were on the trail. It seems a convenient way to get from dead-end/cul-de-sacs to the shopping areas nearby. This is at Gravenstein Way, another access point. The path is then wider and more even.
In summary? I think it took us two years to finish this trail because though we love that the restoration has gone on – it’s still basically a backyard fenced walk. Not our favorite. If I lived there, I would certainly use the path to get from one place to another and would want to have a view of it. But would I go out of my way to walk there? No. Unless I wanted some native plant pictures.
My suggestion to you? Give it a try. Walk in late spring or summer when the plants are blooming. Go on a beautiful day. Here’s a map. Tell me what you think.
See you on the trail!
Words by Lynn Millar, pictures by Lynn and Mike Millar